Univerza v Ljubljani Univerza v Ljubljani Filozofska fakulteta Filozofska fakulteta

University of Ljubljana
Faculty of Arts
Department of Ethnology
and Cultural Anthropology
Aškerčeva 2
SI-1000 Ljubljana
T: +386 (1) 241 15 20
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The History

When the Faculty of Arts was founded at the University of Ljubljana in 1919 the curriculum included a ‘Seminar on ethnography’, but lectures on ethnology and ethnography (which also included anthropology) officially began in the 1940/1941 academic year with the appointment of the director of the Slovene Ethnographic Museum Dr. Niko Županič (1876-1961) as the first full professor of ethnology. However, by the second semester the Second World War had already brought work to a halt. The main area of Prof. Županič’s multidisciplinary and comparative research was the earliest history and ethnogenesis of the Slavs, which was reflected in the first issues of the journal Etnolog (Ethnologist), which he founded and edited.

In the 1955/1956 academic year Dr. Vilko Novak (1909-2003) became assistant professor, and after Županič retired in 1957, he was again the only teacher in the department. He conducted pedagogical and research work at the department until his retirement in 1976. Novak established the concept of ethnology as a field which includes the study of both European and non-European peoples, and divided Županič’s regional and thematic curriculum into the ethnology of the Slovenes, the ethnology of the South Slavs and the ethnology of the nations of Europe. Physical anthropology and ethnology of non-European cultures was taught by Dr. Božo Škerlj (1904-1961). Later, non-European ethnology was taught for a while by a visiting professor from Zagreb, Dr. Milovan Gavazzi (1895-1992).

The situation in the department changed again with the arrival in 1960 of junior lecturer Dr. Vekoslav Kremenąek (b. 1931). His work in the department and in Slovene ethnology as a whole has been linked to major shifts in terms of methodology, subject, and organization. He was the first to introduce research into the areas of urban ethnology and workers’ culture. He conceived the way of life as a central subject of ethnology, as was confirmed by his leadership of a project entitled The Ethnological Topography of the Slovene Ethnic Territory. The department thus developed into a modern pedagogical and research institution. Prof. Kremenąek retired in 1998.

In the eighties, three new teachers joined the faculty staff: Dr. Zmago Šmitek (b. 1949), Dr. Janez Bogataj (b. 1947) and Dr. Božidar Jezernik (b. 1951). The 1990/1991 academic year brought about new changes when on the proposal of Professors Jezernik and Šmitek the department was renamed the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, and various anthropological subjects again became part of the curriculum.

Since the 1998/1999 academic year, ethnology and cultural anthropology has been offered as an independent course of study.
In 1999 the department began to publish its own monograph collection from the field of ethnology and cultural anthropology entitled the Županič's Collection (20 volumes had been published by 2007), and two years later a collection of student works entitled Etno je fletno (‘Ethno Rules’) with three volumes so far. Since 2001 the department has engaged in international student and teacher exchanges. Students have the opportunity to perform a part of their studies at more than twenty partner departments all over Europe (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden).

More than 400 undergraduate students attend lectures in ethnology and cultural anthropology. The department offers seven specialised programmes of study for (pre-Bologna) Master’s degrees (research masters in Ethnology of Slovenes, Ethnology of Non-European Countries, Ethnological Museology, Ethnological Conservation, Cultural Anthropology, Folklore, Comparative Mythology) and doctoral studies in ethnology and cultural anthropology. From the academic year 2007-2008 the department will participate in the joint master programme Creole: Cultural Differences and Transnational Processes.

The researchers at the department are involved in a couple of bilateral research projects and research projects from the 6th EU Framework (Eumon: EU-wide Monitoring Methods and Systems of Surveillance for Species and Habitats of Community Interest; Ramses2: Réseau d’Excellence des centres de recherche en sciences humaines sur la Méditerranée) and other basic research and applied projects.



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